In a recent post, we answered the question Should You Turn Off "IS" When Using Action-Stopping Shutter Speeds? One of the questions generated by that post asked if image stabilization should be turned off or left enabled when shooting from a tripod. So, we went back to our very-knowledgeable Canon representative with this question. Again, the information below should not be considered official Canon guidelines, but it comes from a person who has substantial knowledge about Canon lenses and their IS systems.
First off, let's be clear -- any discussion about Image Stabilization on a tripod refers ONLY to a truly rock-solid tripod, on a totally firm surface without vibrations from passing traffic and so on. In many real-world situations, we're using tripods and other supports in conditions that really aren't totally solid. A good test, before discussing the question any further: the next time you're mounted on a tripod, turn your camera's Live View on, and magnify the LCD monitor image to its greatest setting. It's sometimes amazing how much shake and movement there really is, even on a tripod.
The point is pretty clear. In any situation where you're not truly rock-steady, whether you're mounted on a tripod, or certainly a monopod, using Image Stabilization normally makes a great deal of sense.
However, since the launch of the first Canon Image Stabilized lens (the EF 75-300mm IS zoom lens, from 1995), Canon engineers have recommended switching IS off if and when you're mounted on a tripod. Again, this pre-supposes it's a truly rock-solid tripod.
Canon's optical Image Stabilization has definitely evolved since its launch in 1995, and there are now different versions for lightweight, less-expensive lenses (like the EF-S 18-55mm standard zoom for compact cameras) than the more advanced IS units we see in (for example) L-series super-telephoto lenses. Basically, current Canon EF and EF-S lenses can detect when there's a total absence of "shake" (in other words, solidly tripod mounted), and internally disable the Image Stabilization if it's left on. But in some lenses -- and it varies, depending on the IS design in the lens in question -- the moveable IS lens elements aren't locked and centered when the IS is disabled this way, and can sometimes be susceptible to slight movement during exposure. On such lenses, physically switching IS off with the switch on the lens allows the lens to lock and center these elements.
Again, there are variables -- too many to get into here, since it depends on which lens model, which version (in other words, how old is the lens in question), and so on. But the bottom line remains pretty simple. It's safer to just switch IS off if you know there will be a complete absence of camera and lens movement during exposure.
One other thing... Canon's optical Image Stabilization is designed as a tool to get sharper pictures at "normal" shutter speeds. While the slow-speed limits may vary slightly from one lens model to another, Image Stabilization is disabled if the system detects a shutter speed longer than roughly one full second. So for longer night-time exposures, expect to just turn IS off, because it won't have an effect in your final pictures.
Hope this helps clarify the questions about Canon's optical Image Stabilization when cameras are tripod mounted.
We hope that your knowledge of image stabilization is now one stop greater!
We’re excited to announce that Lightroom Mobile now has a new raw HDR capture mode that lets you achieve a dynamic range on your mobile device that was previously only possible shooting with an DSLR or mirrorless camera.
This new HDR mode harnesses the power available in the latest mobile hardware on both Android and iOS. These updates, version 2.7 for iOS and version 2.3 for Android, were released today and make the HDR mode available for free.
The new HDR mode works by automatically scanning the scene to determine the correct exposure range and then capturing three DNG files which are then automatically aligned, merged, deghosted, and tonemapped in the app. You get a 16-bit floating point DNG, with all of the benefits of both an HDR and a raw photo, which is processed by the same algorithms with the same quality as the HDR technology built into Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom.
Previously, capturing an image in HDR either meant using a DSLR or mirrorless camera, capturing multiple exposures, copying to your computer, and then merging in an application like Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw, or Lightroom. Alternatively, you could capture an HDR JPEG on your phone, though those images normally used only two shots and often failed to capture the full range of tonality in difficult lighting scenarios. By capturing three raw shots and merging on the phone, you get a greatly increased dynamic range with the ability to edit and share right away. Creative Cloud members get the additional benefit of automatically syncing with their desktop, ensuring that the photo, plus all of the edits that were made to the photo, are backed up and available in the desktop version of Lightroom.
Our very own Russel Preston Brown has created a great tutorial for using this new HDR capture mode within Lightroom Mobile, check it out! below.
HDR Processing & Supported Devices
When we started working on HDR for Lightroom Mobile, we realized that adding desktop-caliber, pro-quality processing algorithms to mobile devices is no easy task. Our team was able to make some pretty amazing breakthroughs that eventually made it possible.
For iOS users, the HDR mode requires a device that can capture in DNG, such as an iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, iPhone SE, or iPad Pro 9.7?.
For Android users, at this point only the Samsung S7, S7 Edge, Google Pixel, and Pixel XL are supported. So that we’d adhere to our stringent quality and reliability requirements, our primary goal was to ensure the stability of the app while enabling the algorithms to provide the highest possible quality. Thanks to the processing and memory available on the Samsung S7 and Google Pixel devices, we were able to achieve the quality and capabilities required by these incredibly powerful algorithms. The team is working hard to support additional devices as quickly as possible.
Other features in these releases
In addition to the new raw HDR capture mode, iOS and Android users get the following new features:
Export Original, enabling you to export the original files, including DNGs captured in the camera as well as raw files imported through Lightroom Mobile and Lightroom web (Lightroom Desktop does not upload originals to the server)
Gestures to rate and review in the Rate & Review mode, greatly speeding up your review process
New Force Touch and Notification Center widget, making it even easier and faster to launch Lightroom’s camera
As well as a new option available in settings, Prevent From Sleep, which will keep the screen from locking as long as the phone is plugged into power, improved synchronization stability and speed, and general bug fixes, performance enhancements, and UI tweaks
For Android Creative Cloud members, the Radial and Linear Selection tools are now available
As well as general bug fixes and speed improvements
For those able to afford this lens, it is the first Sony lens to buy.
Please note that the image quality results currently shown (processed in Lightroom) will soon be replaced with Capture One-processed results. Lightroom forces Sony lens aberration correction (minimally correcting lateral CA) for lenses it has a profile for and lens corrections built into the processing hides lens flaws.
Tamron has extended its instant and mail-in rebate programs through April 29 with minor changes which went into effect March 5, the most notable change being that the Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD now qualifies for a $100.00 mail-in rebate.
Lightroom provides a complete workflow solution that enables photographers to organize, optimize, and share their photographic images. In this informative and entertaining presentation, Tim Grey shares his tips for best practices for a workflow in Lightroom that will work best for your specific needs. You'll gain a better insight into how Lightroom works, get tips on how to best configure Lightroom, learn how to define your own optimal workflow, and much more.